VETERINARIAN and animal health student of the Fiji National University Shayal Esther Kumar will be advocating for the empowerment of women as she competes for the 2014 Miss World Fiji title.
The 19-year-old from Nausori was named in the top 10 finalists on Wednesday.
Ms Kumar, a former Assemblies of God High School student, says she is excited about her prospects and believes the competition will be a platform to advocate for what she believes need more awareness.
"I am passionate about women's issues and the empowerment of women in politics, especially with the elections coming up is an issue I would like to address," she said.
"This competition is not just about the outer beauty, it's about intelligence and developing the confidence to speak out about issues one feels so strongly about."
She says she is looking forward to competing against nine other talented and beautiful girls in the final on July 26 at Pacific Harbour.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. There is so much I know I will learn and I am glad that I will be learning alongside the other nine finalists — it's an honour."
The 2014 Miss World Fiji will be crowned on July 28 at the Pearl South Pacific Resort, and will later represent Fiji at the Miss World pageant in the UK.